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CHAT TRANSCRIPT: Clark Judge on NFL football

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Events_Moderator: Okay everyone! It's time to get started! Let's welcome Clark Judge to the chat! Hi Clark, welcome back to Lycos! What's up?

clark_judge: Thanks for having me back, it's been a long time!

Events_Moderator: What did you think of the San Fran game last night?

clark_judge: I thought the played uninspired football.My concern with them is their pass defense and whether it's sound enough to shut down or control St. Louis. I didn't see that last night. And it would concern me that threw for 342 yards. If that happens, imagine what could do. That said, I agree with the that it's far too soon to get concerned. They don't play St. Louis until October 6th, which gives them a month to work out their problems.

docron52: Who do you see as the featured RB for the ? Allen or Wells?

clark_judge: At this juncture it would have to be Allen, simply because of the experience he had with Chicago. I do think, however, both will see time, but if you're asking me whom I'd pick for my fantasy football team? Make it !

Events_Moderator: Who will be your biggest surprise team this year?

clark_judge: I think your surprise teams probably will come out of the AFC, and there are a couple I'd keep my eyes on. One is Cleveland, simply because they have the rushing attack now that is with them. The other - and I don't know how much of a surprise this is - is Tennessee. The have been good in the past, but fell down last year because of injuries, and a dreadful secondary. The good news is that and are healthy, and the are in a weak division. The bad news is, I'm not so sure how improved that secondary is. Nevertheless, I still have them winning the AFC South. One other team to watch is San Diego. If for no other reason than Marty Schottenheimer doesn't lose.

Events_Moderator: , or ... will they all be healthy the entire season?

clark_judge: The biggest question mark to me will always be . I can't tell you with any certainty that he will be ok. He looks good, and says he feels fine, but we've been down this road before. is coming off a serious knee injury, and typically it takes backs about a year to work through that. I have no reservations about . In fact, I think he's determined to have one of his best seasons ever.

jasper_darkfire: Do you think the combo of a healthy George and the improvement that was forced to go through last year will make the Super Bowl contenders?

clark_judge: No. And it doesn't have as much to do with Tennessee as it does with Pittsburgh. To get to the Super Bowl, any AFC team must go through the . They are deeper, they are stronger, and they are just plain better than anyone in that conference. I could see Tennessee getting to the AFC Championship game. But they don't get past the .

WarriorKing: What are your thoughts on how Brady will perform this year for the . There's going to be a lot of people watching him this year.

clark_judge: Yeah, and I'm one of them! That question was posed to me by a head coach who recently won a Super Bowl. And I didn't know what to tell him. I said, "I think the guy is the real deal, but I would like to have more than a year in which to make that judgment." He didn't disagree, saying he's not sure how good Brady is either. Both of us feel he certainly capable of starting, but neither of us is convinced after one season that this guy is a franchise quarterback.

docron52: What's your read on the Philadelphia "D"?

clark_judge: I think they are going to miss . But not as much as some others do. The addition of will help ease the loss and I know what you're thinking: How can a three hundred pound linebacker move like Trotter? Well, he can't, but he doesn't have to. The picked up Kirkland to plug the middle and the man can do that. I think the addition of Bishop at safety makes a good secondary even better. But mark this down, Bishop is a one year project; they've got a marvelous rookie behind him in . He's a star for the future.

rhino_rulz: What is your favorite part of covering the NFL?

clark_judge: Seeing players that I admire. Meeting coaches that I like and have covered, and getting my hotel rooms paid for.

textrey: It seems like the are trying to rip off by paying him less than his slot should get. Is that true and do you see him on the field in 2002?

clark_judge: I do see him on the field, simply because it's virtually unheard of for draft choices to sit out the season. It's a convenient negotiating ploy, but it seldom works. I think what's going to happen here is that you'll see a resolution within the next week to ten days, with Jammer coming in considerably behind his teammates. I fully expect, however, that this guy will be starting before the end of the season. In my mind, he was the best player in this year's draft.

jasper_darkfire: Don't you think Kordell will have lost some confidence? He's been down this road before in losing an AFC championship and crumbling the next year

clark_judge: No, I don't. I think that question might have been asked at the beginning of the 2000 season or even the 2001 season, but Stewart dispelled any doubts this year. He simply has to get over the next hump, which, as you mention, is the AFC Championship game, and I think this is the year he does it. He has a terrific support system around him in his teammates and his coaches. And they will do everything they can to make sure Stewart takes that next step. If for some reason he can't or he's hurt, Pittsburgh has the perfect backup in . Or the perfect safety net. :)

rhino_rulz: Clark, after watching last night's -Giants game, do you think all this hype over the going to the Super Bowl is a bit premature?

clark_judge: I think its a bit premature anyway, just because they are in the same division with St. Louis. I believe they have closed the gap for the , but a bridge still remains. And I think you saw that last night when Collins shredded them for 342 yards. San Francisco has to find a way to plug those holes if it's going to beat and the .

M: Have you seen the Pat's new Gillette Stadium? I've heard it's awesome ... and can stadiums make a difference to players and their effectiveness during the game?

clark_judge: I've seen it, but only by driving by, I haven't been inside of it. And yes, stadiums can make a difference. Look at what happened with the Tennessee when they moved from Houston. They played in four stadiums in four years, and when they finally found a home, they went to the Super Bowl.

textrey: The seem to have really improved their team's roster. How many wins to you see them getting this season?

clark_judge: I think they are improved, but I don't think they are vastly improved. My problem with Dallas is, was, and always will be the quarterback position. Neither nor is good enough - at least, at this juncture - to take them to the next level. Subpar quarterbacks equal subpar seasons.Which means I don't see Dallas winning more than six or seven games.

docron52: How about the Eagle's passing game? Is Thrash capable of being the "go-to" guy?

clark_judge: I don't think so. I think is more suited to be the go-to guy there. But for some reason, they are bringing the guy along much more slowly than I anticipated. Don't get me wrong, I like Thrash, but I like him as a number 2 receiver.

warriorkod: Do you think will be a positive addition to the Green Bay locker room?

clark_judge: I think only knows the answer to that!I'm not sure what goes on inside 's head, and I don't know many people who could tell you! To me, if his head is on straight, he'll be a positive force on the field and in the locker room.

jasper_darkfire: Any thoughts on ?

clark_judge: Yeah, I love ! I think he's a star in the making. I saw him in one pre-season game, and he looked terrific, he's got great hands, good speed - in short, I like the guy, but I like him down the road. Rookie receivers generally struggle, and will be no different.

Events_Moderator: What do you think of Steve Spurrier, can he be successful in the NFL?

clark_judge: That's a question I've posed to dozens of players and coaches during training camp. The consensus seems to be that he can and will be successful, but not immediately. And I think you know the reason why. Until or unless he gets quarterbacks who are better than and , he's coaching an 8 and 8 team who's success will stem more from it's defense than it's offense. The problem with Spurrier is his ego. If he relied on his defense and , he might be able to threaten Philadelphia. But this is a guy who loves to take chances. Which means lots of turnovers from his quarterback.

jasper_darkfire: Before you go ¿ do you have a Super Bowl prediction?

clark_judge: (laughs) Yeah, I *do*, but it's always wrong! Last year I had the winning. To me the logical teams are Pittsburgh and St. Louis, and I think it's time Pittsburgh breaks through. To me the are a deadbolt cinch in the AFC, it's the NFC that will be much closer, with Green Bay, San Francisco and Philadelphia pushing the .

Events_Moderator: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, Clark! It's been fun! We'll have to do this again sometime!

clark_judge: Yeah, it's always my pleasure - just don't wait another three or four months before calling me! My social calendar is clear for the next year,I'll be waiting for your call! :)

Events_Moderator: Great questions everyone. Y'all are the best! I hope everyone had fun! We sure did!

Tagged: Browns, Cowboys, Packers, Titans, Colts, Rams, Patriots, Saints, Giants, Eagles, 49ers, Redskins, Jaguars, Steelers, Chargers, Texans, Shane Matthews, Charlie Batch, Edgerrin James, Kurt Warner, Kerry Collins, Freddie Mitchell, Jeremiah Trotter, Stephen Davis, Fred Taylor, Deion Branch, William Green, Michael Lewis, James Allen

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